Section 6: Control of loans etc to permitted participants
32.Section 6 and Schedule 9 have the effect of regulating loans made to permitted participants who campaign in the referendum on the voting system. The controls are similar to those made in relation to registered political parties by Part 4A of the 2000 Act. The provisions of the Act do not apply to a loan to a registered political party that is not a minor party, which would be governed by Part 4A of the 2000 Act. Schedule 9 to the Act contains provisions preventing a permitted participant from entering into certain regulated transactions with persons who are not “authorised participants” (e.g. individuals who are not on the electoral register). It also imposes certain reporting requirements. Subsection (1) of section 6 introduces the Schedule. Subsection (2) ensures that permitted participants provide a statement of regulated transactions in their return about referendum expenses. Subsection (4) ensures that the addresses of individuals who enter into regulated transactions with permitted participants are made available for public inspection (and this corresponds to the rules in the 2000 Act about donations). Subsection (5) ensures that regulated transactions are aggregated with donations for the purpose of determining whether the donations need to be reported. Subsection (6) ensures that the civil sanctions made available to the Electoral Commission by Schedule 19C to the 2000 Act may be imposed by the Commission in respect of the offences contained in paragraphs 8(1) to (12). Subsections (7) and (8) ensure that the provisions about reporting apply to transactions entered into before section 6 comes into force, but the provisions about the consequences of entering into unauthorised transactions (or making a transfer of an interest in a transaction to an unauthorised entity) and the offences relating to doing so do not apply to any transaction entered into (or transfer made) before the section comes into force.